Events    |    AASA AGA 2015    |    Panel/Speakers bios

Where: Fancourt, George, Western Cape, South Africa
When: 8 to 11 October 2015

Inati Ntshanga    |    AASA Chairperson 

Inati Ntshanga is the current Chairperson of AASA. He was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SA Express by the Board of Directors of the airline on 1 September 2010. As CEO of the airline, he also serves as an Executive Director on the SA Express Board of Directors.

Ntshanga is a Harvard University Economics graduate, whose previous portfolio included the development of SA Express’ strategy and business development, including the airline’s route expansion and forays into the rest of the African continent. He joined SA Express in January 2005 as Executive Manager, Commercial and Strategy before becoming General Manager, Strategy and Business Development.

Over the last 10 years, Ntshanga has held various roles in the airline industry, particularly at South African Airlines (SAA) where he worked in various departments, including Voyager, Sales, Airport Operations and Technical. He was also Executive Manager of Strategy and Planning, as well as Regional General Manager/EVP for the Americas at SAA. Prior to joining SAA, he worked as a consultant in various areas in aviation including Cargo, Technical and Customer Service.

Ntshanga holds a GIBS Global Executive Development Programme qualification from the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science; serves on the Board of the Hoedspruit Airport in the Kruger National Park, Limpopo; and is passionately involved in the development of the aviation industry in that region.

Chris Zweigenthal    |   AASA CEO    

Chris Zweigenthal is the current Chief Executive Officer of AASA. From 1978 until 1988, he worked in the construction division of Transnet, and was responsible for the project management and construction of several large capital projects. At the end of 1988, he joined SAA, where he held senior positions in the Petroleum Affairs, Flight Operations and Marketing Planning departments. 

From November 1998 until October 2000, Zweigenthal was appointed Managing Director of SA Alliance Air based in Kampala, Uganda. In November 2000, he was appointed General Manager Global Passenger Services at SAA, and later Vice President of the same department, until he left SAA in November 2001.

In February 2002, Zweigenthal joined AASA as Deputy Chief Executive, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in March 2009. He is also a Director of Aviation Coordination Services Limited, a company responsible for several airport services managed on behalf of all airlines operating in South Africa.

Zweigenthal holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand, and a Graduate Diploma in Engineering from the same university.

Erik Venter    |    AASA Executive Committee    |   Chairman  Comair Limited 

Erik Venter is a current Executive Committee member at AASA. He is also the CEO at Comair Limited. He joined  Comair in 1996 as Financial Manager, and has held various positions within the company including Commercial Manager, Commercial Director and Financial Director. In July of 2006 Erik was appointed as Joint CEO of Comair and served in this position until December 2011 when he assumed the sole responsibility for the company as CEO. 

Venter has also served a term as Chairman of AASA, and and is currently a director on the Board of Imperial Air Cargo (BidAir Cargo aquired Imperial Air Cargo in 2014).

Venter holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town,  and Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the same University. He completed his articles with KPMG qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) (SA). 

Dr. Azar Jammine    |    Director and Chief Economist    |    Econometrix (Pty) Ltd

Dr. Azar Jammine is a Director and Chief Economist at Econometrix (Pty) Ltd, South Africa’s leading independent economic research, consultancy and forecasting company, established in 1982. He has been in his current position since December 1985, and has established a significant profile in South Africa as an analyst and commentator on domestic and international economic affairs. 

Dr. Jammine has conducted approximately 4000 presentations to leading client corporations and other institutions as well as at conferences dealing with the local and international economic environment. In this capacity, he has also been invited over the years by several corporations to serve as an independent Non-Executive Director.

Dr. Jammine obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mathematical Statistics and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Economics at Wits University, followed by a Master of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD from the London Business School.

Sylvain Bosc    |    Chief Commercial Officer    |    SAA

Sylvain Bosc is responsible for the revenue side of SAA's business, covering Worldwide Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management and Pricing, Network Planning and Scheduling as well as Fleet Planning.

A graduate from HEC School of Management in Paris, Europe’s most prestigious management school, Sylvain brings with him a significant amount of airline business experience, particularly in turnaround situations. He spent 13 years at Air France where he actively participated in the reform of the then state-owned company in the USA, in France, Spain and Japan.

His last assignment at Air France was to oversee the Air France KLM group strategic planning function, at a time when the Air France was the largest airline in the world. More recently, Bosc has been credited with the successful restructuring of Corsair, France’s second carrier and a subsidiary of TUI Travel PLC, where as Chief Commercial Officer, he took the company from operating losses to break even in four years, with successful commercial inroads into West Africa.

Mmatšatši Ramawela    |    CEO    |    TBCSA

Mmatšatši Ramawela’s career South Africa’s travel and tourism industry spans over 20 years. It was her curiosity as a Bachelor of Social Science and Humanities student at the University of Cape Town, which sparked her interest in the industry. After graduating, she started her career in Cape Town within the FMCG manufacturing sector and later moved to the retail sector in packaging, merchandising and buying.

In 1994, Ramawela moved to Johannesburg and joined the Small Business Development Corporation (now Business Partners), in the development finance sector, but kept her focus on the tourism industry, training as a tour guide for Gauteng, Limpopo and the North-West provinces of South Africa. 

Ramawela later joined the National Parks Board (now South African National Parks) in 1996, taking charge of marketing the country’s 22 national parks, and led the organisation’s brand name change in line with the country’s democratic dispensation. It was her experience at SANParks which taught her the role and importance of South Africa’s rich natural heritage (biodiversity).

Ramawela also has extensive experience of working with the trade and various destination marketing organisations locally and internationally. She has worked for both the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Board as the Marketing and Communications Manager, and the Limpopo Tourism Board as the Chief Tourism Marketing Officer, prior to joining the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) as COO in 2006 and then as CEO. The TBCSA is the umbrella body for organised business in the South African travel and tourism industry. The organisation’s mandate is to lobby, influence macro-economic developments which impact on the industry for the purpose of building the pride, economy and identity of South Africa as a destination. 

Under Ramawela’s leadership, TBCSA has grown to encompass a total of 16 sector associations within its membership base, comprising businesses operating across various sectors of the travel and tourism chain. In addition, TBCSA now facilitates a number of industry-focused projects such as: the annual Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) (now in its 9th year) which focuses on Africa and the sub-Saharan Africa region in particular; the Tourism Business Index that tracks business performance in the industry on a quarterly basis; and the Tourism Levy South Africa (TOMSA) which is a voluntary tourism levy collection system administered by the TBCSA.

Ramawela is a formidable speaker. Her most notable international speaking engagements include IATA's 2013 World Routes Development Forum and the 2012 World Travel Market Tourism Intelligence International workshop. She sits on the Board of the University of Johannesburg's Management School of Tourism and Hospitality.

Ramawela holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Cape Town in Humanities in Business and Management Science; a Diploma in Packaging Technology from the Cape Technikon (now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology); a Certificate in Management Science from INSEAD Business School; a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and an Honours Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Ben Dahwa    |    Exco Member    |    Air Botswana

Ben Dahwa is well vested with aviation and airline experience, having been in the industry for 30 continuous years. With an aviation engineering and operations background, he has had wide exposure and experiences, across all sectors of the aviation environment within the SADC region, ranging from military aviation environment, general aviation environment and wide body aircraft operations. 

Dahwa has held various aviation leadership and management positions such as: Group Avionics Manager at Aerotech in Zimbabwe; Corporate Quality Assurance Manager, General Manager and CEO at Alpine Aviation South Africa, General Manager Technical and Operations, and Accountable Manager at Air Namibia and Director/Principal Member of Track Aviation Associates Pty Ltd, as an aviation consultant.

Hussein Dabbas    |    Regional Vice President for Africa & Middle East    |    IATA

Hussein Dabbas is International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East based in Amman, Jordan since 2012. His responsibilities include defining IATA’s members’ priorities and needs, Implementing IATA policies and promoting its services, ensure that the clearing of over US$24 billion annually is done in a safe and timely manner. Working with airline Presidents and Directors of Civil Aviation in the region to push for a more secure and safe industry through the implementation of the IATA safety standards. Promoting the value aviation brings to the economies of the countries and the promotion of the liberalisation of the industry. In addition he contributes expertise in corporate strategy, commercial strategy and business planning to the stakeholders.

Before joining IATA in June 2012, Dabbas was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Jordanian Airlines for three years after spending over thirty years with the airline in senior roles, including Vice President Commercial and Services and Regional Director for the USA, based in New York. 

Dabbas holds a Master’s Degree in International Management and Marketing from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco in California.

Michelle Green-Thompson    |    Strategic Marketing CRO - Government & Tourism    |    Airlink

Michelle Green-Thompson is the Strategic Marketing  Customer Relations Officer at Airlink. Prior to working at Airlink, she was the Marketing Co-Ordinator at Cube Route Pty Ltd

Green-Thompson started her public speaking career in 2008 at Toastmasters International in Bryanston. A keen communicator, she has put her skills to the test by being the master of ceremonies for various companies including Airlink. She has a passion for aviation and believes in the power of collaboration in the transport and tourism sectors.

Green-Thompson holds  holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand.

Derek Andre Hanekom    |    Minister of Tourism    |    South African government

Derek Andre Hanekom serves as the Minister of Tourism in the South African government, after his tenure as the Minister of Science and Technology.  He was born in Cape Town, South Africa on 13 January 1953. He did his schooling in Cape Town and matriculated from Jan van Riebeeck Secondary school in 1970. After completing his compulsory conscription, he travelled abroad where he worked for various organisations including working on farms, factories and building sites. He returned to South Africa in his early twenties and continued farming for six years.

It was his arrest for participating in a peaceful candlelight demonstration at John Vorster Square, the Police Headquarters in Johannesburg that prompted the start of his active political life in 1976. He and his wife Patricia joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1980, and did underground political work while farming on a smallholding in Magaliesburg.

Amongst other things, they provided the ANC with information about the apartheid defence force’s attempts to overthrow the Mozambican government through the rebel movement, Renamo. This led to their arrest in 1983, initially charged with High Treason, but subsequently reduced to lesser charges as a result of the international sensitivity of the case.

After serving a three year period in prison, he worked with the trade union movement in Johannesburg, until his wife’s release from prison in 1987, and subsequent deportation to Zimbabwe. They spent the following three years in exile in Zimbabwe. During this period he served as the co-ordinator of the Popular History Trust in Harare. He returned to South Africa after the unbanning of political organisations in 1990, to work at the headquarters of the ANC, where he was responsible for policy formulation on land and agricultural matters during the period of negotiations prior to the first democratic elections in 1994.

Minister Hanekom was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs from 1994 to 1999, piloting various reform bills through Parliament which aimed to redress the injustices and inequities caused by apartheid laws and the 1913 Land Act. Much of the South African land reform legislation was initiated, drafted and enacted during his term. This legislation laid the foundation for land reform in the post-apartheid era. During the period 1999 to 2004 he served as a Member of Parliament on various Parliamentary Committees until his appointment as the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in April 2004. During October 2012 he was promoted to Minister of Science and Technology where he served his term until the 25 May 2014. 

Minister Hanekom is a member of the following ANC committee's:

  • National Executive Committee (NEC);
  • National Working Committee (NWC);
  • Chairperson of the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC); and
  • NEC Convener of the Western Cape.

He also serves as the Deputy Chairperson on the Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

Elizabeth Dipuo Peters    |    Minister of Transport    |    South African government

Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters serves as the Minister of Transport in the South African government. She brings a wealth of experience from the religious fraternity, the student, youth, women’s and trade union movement, right up to government. As a humanitarian at heart, her pedigree extends to having served the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, a structure which worked for the repatriation of political exiles and re-integration of political prisoners after the unbanning of political organisations. Her rich experience in the legislative arm of Government speaks volumes. Minister Peters served in the National Assembly between 1994 and 1997, serving in the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees of Home Affairs, Public Works, Social Services and Health.           

in 1997, Minister Peters was redeployed to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, executing duties of Chief Whip till 1999. She served as the Northern Cape MEC for Health from 1999 to 2004, spearheading amongst others the revitalisation of the Kimberley Hospital Complex and overseeing the extension of primary health care and maternal health services in the Northern Cape. Also attributed to her tenure are strides that saw the remarkable broadening of rural access to health care facilities, with clinics and hospitals having been built.

Minister Peters was appointed to serve as Premier of the Northern Cape, from April 2004 to May 2009, before moving to the higher echelons of Government as Minister of Energy. She is widely respected in the African continent and globally, as an esteemed leader in the energy sector, including being a member of the renowned UAE Zayed Future Energy Prize, and being appointed as a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Sustainable Energy for All.

While serving as the Minister of Energy, the Department of Energy was bestowed with a number of internationally recognised accolades, including the African Investor's Infrastructure Regulator of the Year Award and the Project Finance International (PFI) Power Deal of the Year Award. She is credited with leading the charge for the progressive introduction of renewable energy technologies into the South African Energy mix, and has seen successes such as the adoption of the country’s first everIntegrated Resource Plan for Electricity. She is also credited with South Africa’s renewable energy programme being voted by the Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in New York as the Green Energy Infrastructure Programme of the Year, globally. Minister Peters has headed the charge in the transformation of the liquid fuels sector and has been actively championing women’s and previously disadvantaged groups’ participation in the sector.

She cut her teeth in active politics in the Young Christian Students. She also participated in youth formations in the church and community. In the Azanian Student Organisation (AZASO), she was Deputy Chairperson of the Women’s Forum at the then University of Limpopo (previously the University of the North). Her vibrancy and activism was further reignited in Kimberley, where she was a member of the Galeshewe Youth Congress. She worked as a volunteer regional organiser for the South African Domestic Workers’ Union, recruiting, organising, educating and counseling domestic workers in the Northern Cape. Between 1987 and 1990, she served as Head of the Women’s Secretariat of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO).

She was also a member of the Provisional National Youth Committee, a team that worked towards the re-establishment of the African National Congress Youth League. She was the Youth League’s Secretary for Women’s Affairs, upon its re-launch. From 1997 to 2003, she served as the Provincial Treasurer of the ANC. The period between 2003 and 2004 marked her tenure as the first female Provincial Chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape, having previously served as Deputy Provincial Chairperson of the ANC from May to December 2003. On July 9 2013, she was appointed as the first female Minister of Transport of the Republic of South Africa.

Minister Peters holds a Bachelor in Social Work degree from the University of Limpopo (previously known as the University of the North); a Certificate in Development and Public Policy from the University of the Western Cape; a Certificate in Executive Management from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and a Certificate in International Policy Management from Havana, Cuba.

Otto de Vries    |    Chief Executive Officer    |    ASATA

Otto de Vries is the CEO of the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA). He has been active in the travel industry for almost 28 years, 20 of those in senior management roles.

de Vries’ vision for ASATA is to champion the organisation’s Members as the consumer’s channel of choice when buying travel products and services. Key to this is to take on board the views and opinions of others in an effort to find the best possible working solutions to the industry needs. In an unregulated industry, ASATA has, for nearly 60 years, delicately balanced playing industry watchdog with looking after the interests of its Members.

de Vries sits on the board of ASATA, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa and is the Vice Chairperson of theWorld Travel Agents Association Alliance. He was also the recipient of the Business Traveller Africa Business Travel Personality Award for 2014, 2015 and 2016, for his work on challenging the recent changes to South Africa’s immigration regulations.

Professor Nick Binedell    |    Founding Director & Sasol Chair of Strategic Management    |    Gordon Institute of Business Science

Professor Nick Binedell is the Founding Director and Sasol Chair of Strategic Management of the Gordon Institute of Business Science of the University of Pretoria (GIBS). After an initial career in the industry in the Mining and Manufacturing sectors in sales and general management in the Barlow Rand Group, he began a career in the area of business education and academia.

In 1998 he was invited to establish a new business school for the University of Pretoria to be based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His mandate was to establish a world class business school that would meet the needs of the 21st century for South African business and business leaders. GIBS has grown over the past 15 years to be one of South Africa’s leading business schools and offers a comprehensive and wide range of academic and executive programmes. In addition to research and thought leadership the school has focus on partnering with leading South African companies to ensure their continued competitiveness in a fast changing country, continent and global economy.

GIBS has been ranked in the Top 50 for executive education by the London Financial Times for the past 8 years and delivers executive programmes for its partner companies in over 20 countries around the world. GIBS is active in the rest of the African continent, running programmes in West Africa, East Africa and elsewhere. The school has a significant MBA programme (plus 300 students p.a.) and a strong DBA/Ph.D programme and a number of Centres that reflect the dynamics of the South African economy and broader society .

GIBS prides itself in being comprehensive in nature and its outreach programmes including working with high school leaders, social entrepreneurs, government departments and a variety of other important communities.

Professor Binedell’s key area of expertise is in the area of strategic leadership with particular focus on strategy in complex environments. He is a frequent public speaker in South Africa and elsewhere, is a visiting lecturer at the Rotterdam School of Management (for the past 18 years) and has been a consultant to companies like General Electric and MTN. His early background included extensive travel and by the time he was 10, he had lived with his family in 6 countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, Germany, Yemen and Kenya.

In June 2015 the Academy of International Business elected him as global Business Educator of the Year. He is currently a Professor of Strategy and Leadership at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, and is also a Visiting Professor at the London Business School.

Professor Binedell holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Rhodes University; an MBA from Univesity of Cape Town Graduate School of Business; and a PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was a Boeing Scholar (1983 – 1986).

Ndabo Khoza    |    Chief Operating Officer    |    Tourism Kwazulu-Natal

Having been appointed as Chief Operating Officer for two years and Acting CEO for nine months for Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN), Ndabo Khoza was appointed as TKZN CEO in 2007.

Khoza has held several high profile positions within the public and private sectors, such as that of Deputy Director-General in the Public Service Commission.

Khoza has varied experience having worked, amongst others, in the water and property sectors – Umngeni Water and Ithala Development Finance Corporation respectively – as well as for accounting firms KPMG and Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group.

Khoza holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from the University of Zululand.

Victor Kgomoeswana    |    TV anchor, radio commentator, author, freelance conference speaker

Victor Kgomoeswana is currently a TV anchor, radio commentator, author, freelance conference speaker, programme director, workshop facilitator and consultant on African business development. Organisations for which he has facilitated events include the Black Management Forum (BMF), the Annual Audit Committee Conference by Nkonki Inc., the National Treasury’s Financial Management Improvement III workshop for municipalities in the North West, the Association of Black Investment & Securities Professionals (ABSIP), the African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) and Transnet.

Kgomoeswana has addressed executive committees and leadership teams and facilitated conferences on African business for such multinationals such as Massmart, Barclays, Standard Bank, Nedbank, PepsiCo, Voltex, Vodacom, Schneider Electric, Alliance Française, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, among others. He has also organised and led a trade conference on regional economic integration in East Africa with the Rwanda Development Board and the South African High Commission in Kigali. As television anchor, he co-produces and presents Africa Business News, a weekly round-up of African business, on CNBC Africa.

Kgomoeswana has also recently wrote a business book, “Africa is Open for Business – ten years of game-changing headlines”, which was released in May 2014 (published by Pan MacMillan) summarising the key positive trends of the decade to 2013 in the African business environment.

Kgomoeswana holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Limpopo.